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New affordable housing solution being tested in Leon County

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 19:05:37-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Builders are going to be using magnesium oxide foam panels, a concrete like substance. It doesn't seem like much but they will have the potential to replace everything from the wood studs, drywall, and siding.

The new housing units are being built near Orange Avenue on Tallahassee's Southside.

Graceful Solutions, who is efforting the project, says the material they will use is called Magnesium Oxide SIP Panels. They can costs around $40 dollars as opposed to a plywood panel which the non-profit company says would cost around $75 just for one.

The project is expected to cost around $370,000 but each unit will sell for under $200,000. According to Graceful Solutions, the average sale price for a home in Leon County is about $270,000.

With prices of labor and building materials rising because of inflation, Bill Wilson says building energy efficient homes quickly and cost efficiently is critical in providing more and affordable housing here in Tallahassee.

"It not only saves us on the materials cost, it gives us a higher energy efficiency, and in this market, no mold, no mildew, no termites because this is an inorganic product. It goes up so much faster than you can stick build a house," said Wilson. "They tell us, this is our first one, so we're learning, once we get a five person crew well trained, we should be able to build a typical three bedroom, two bath house under roof in about seven days. You can't do that building with sticks and drywall."

Wilson also told me that this two single family house will also reduce utility costs for families by about 40 percent.